1. Dreams in vain are not good for you.
2. Vain dreams are not good for you.
3. Is there something in particular in your mind?
4. Is there something particular in your mind?
I think there is no difference in meaning between #1 and #2, but I have never seen sentences written like #1. What do you think?
And I think #3 and #4 have the same meanings. What do native English speakers think?
Thank you a lot and I hope to hear from you.
Vain means having high opinion of yourself.
When 'vain' is used attributively it means useless, empty, producing no results.
'In vain' means without success or result.
In this case there is no difference in #1 and #2 sentence. However it is true that #1 sentences are not so commonly seen.
In particular is used to emphasis. Let's wait for native speakers for their opinion.
|link comment||answered Aug 11 '12 at 13:39 Rahul Gupta Expert|
First, sentences #3 and #4.
Both sentences contain the same mistake, but once that is corrected have the same meaning. It should be "on your mind", at least in American English.
Sentence #3 is formally correct, and is more likely to be seen writing. Dropping the preposition, as in #4, causes the sentence to be informal -- more commonly heard in speech, but less so in formal writing.
Because "vain" has two different meanings -- useless and having a high opinion of oneself -- you are unlikely to see #2 in American English. Because either meaning could be applied to "vain dreams" -- that is, "useless dreams" or "dreams about how wonderful I am" -- and either sense can apply to the sentence as a whole, the reader is left confused. What does the writer mean here?
At least with sentence #1, the proper sense of vain is understood. However, instead of "dreams in vain", it properly should be "dreaming in vain".
Even with this correction, sentence #1 remains odd from a factual and logical standpoint. What is a useless dream, or a dream without result? Neuroscientists tell us that all dreams, whether we understand them or not, serve a physiological purpose. Because #1 is a false statement, we don't see it often.
I hope this helps.
|link||answered Aug 11 '12 at 14:02 Jeff Pribyl Grammarly Fellow|
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